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EXECUTION ZF's progress thread

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ZF Lee

ZF Lee

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WARNING. LONG STORY AHEAD

Alright, at first I was reluctant to share this because I hadn't seen the results I truly wanted.

But I saw a few threads here at risk of action-fake, so I thought some balance is needed...

Anyways...

I went to a seminar. Paid, in the thousands.
I didn't shell out a buck, and it was only because my mum fell into the sales pitch psychology at a free seminar and bought an extra seat for me without consulting me first.

(I'll rant about that some other time)

So, I just went, even though I could have just refused and demanded for a refund.

The seminar was an Entrepreneur MasterClass, at least taught by an ex-Internet marketer who went on to do other different businesses and partnerships (he disclosed that the seminars were just his hobby).

The first 2 out of 3 days pretty much could be learned from TFLF or doing, but he brought in a few of his students, who had pretty well-known brands themselves, to share their experiences ala Progress Thread styles.

The main speaker said in the first day:
'When you all go out for lunch, go have lunch with someone you never met before. Go network.'

Rings like @Kak's challenge thread on meeting 1 new person per day.
(I'd like to do it, but I can say goodbye to studying time for university, given that I'll be travelling out of SCIPRTED academia to the meetups)

On the 2nd day, I went with my mum to a nearby cafe for lunch.

Damn. Full-house.

Then a 40-50-year-old couple invited us to sit at their table.

They wore the seminar participant tags as well.

Throughout the meal, we introduced ourselves, discussed light topics, blablabla…

The next day, we ran into them as well in another café for lunch!

So we sat down, and ordered food.

We talked again.

Turns out, the wife is a Herbalife seller, while the husband (let's call him Joe) is the general manager of a mall (yeah, the actual building where people go shopping).

I listen to my mum mull over the conversation, and then I hear the hubbie mention he is facing some kind of issue with the mall he helps manages.

‘What issue?’ I ask.

‘I need to sell mall space to some educators for expansion of their international school. But the problem is that their purchase of the space won’t get through unless their investors give them money.’

‘Why won’t their investors give them the money?’ I asked.

Joe explained, ‘Well, they are educators. And even worse, they are Americans. They just talk, talk, talk and don’t really understand what investors are truly looking for- financial data. And anyway, the educators don’t know where to get the financial estimates from.’

My mind floated back to my past white paper projects, where I tired myself out scanning through market databases and economic journals for the info.

‘Well…let’s see how I can help?’ I offered.

I took out my notebook, and started probing the guy for info.

Joe was open to share more details.

I popped lots of questions, as one leads to another….

‘How long has the school been in session?’

‘Segments? Primary and secondary school? Great!’

‘Oh, they had past investors? Do they have old pitch decks from that past…huh? They didn’t send in any formal proposals or pitch slides?’

‘Foreign teachers they bring in? OK, from where? What are they good at?’

‘Who’s the founders? What are their names, passions?’

And so on…

After that, I told Joe, the general manager, that I could help him with what I knew about assembling some data together for a quick biz proposal or slides.

Technically, I wasn’t helping him directly.

I would be servicing the educators who needed the investor money, to go buy the mall space from the hubbie’s superiors, to expand their international school.

He thanked me, handed me his biz card and contact, and I said I would send him an informal blueprint of the task the next day. And if it all went well, he would forward my contact to the educators.

And I had a waiting prospect!

Or at worst, just another networking point, and some exercising on value-providing.


If the educators got the investor money, and bought the mall space from John's superiors...

The deal of the new expansion of the international school would be a potential RM15 million deal.

15 million BUCKS (number-to-number)

I have never heard of a freelancer getting close to a 15-million buck deal...

I dunno whether the deal will come through, or what’s the price point for my services will be.

I don’t even have a working Linkedin account. And my Upwork account is still in renovation (I'm changing the copy for the profile write-up again).

I have no business cards, no business name, no endorsing certification.

In fact, all I told John about my abilities was just this:

- I freelance in writing
- I did some white papers involving a little bit of financial data
(as if even putting together CAGR rates was even decent financial data to begin with)

That's all. 2 sentences on what I did in business, so far.

And yet, I got an opening.

Here's the thing though...

I dunno if the paid seminar I went to was the 'thing' that led me to such an occasion.
But I don't think so.

I could have just kept quiet while the adults talked and talked, and just 'be a kid'.

And just shoved my head into lunch, like a pig lol.

Now, looks like I'll have to dig into the private school market in Malaysia, and come up with a basic suggested business proposal blueprint for John to look at, and see what he thinks of it...

EDIT: Thank God for HubSpot. They have some decent templates and samples for proposals and stuff that I can branch out from. Would enable me to focus more on the research process...
 

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